[Exclusive] Building a House of Prayer, Cluster Prayer

Building a House of Prayer

Eighteen Prayer Models for Approaching God’s Throne

Author | Dr. Joshua Young-Gi Hong

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“Have a lamenting heart. Wet your soul and spirit with your tears.”—Richard Foster

Cluster Prayer is a prayer model of forming a unified prayer team to offer prayer in unison. It is a model of a unified prayer crying out earnestly to God. This prayer is very effective in the spiritual growth of an individual and the revival of a church.

We know that the advent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was brought about by the disciples’ unified prayer. After a Sabbath day’s walk, they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers (Acts 1:12-14).

The Holy Place of Prayer

Mr. Watanebe was the general manager of Toyota, a world-class automobile manufacturer. He had an idea of “how can we make cheaper yet higher quality cars?” He especially pondered on a method to improve the quality of the plastic handles that are placed on the upper part of the door for the passengers to grab in case of quick turns. Eventually, he succeeded in developing the emergency handles at half the cost of the existing handles. This handle was the result of Construction of Cost Competitiveness 21, which was held in July, 2000—a cost reduction movement. Toyota made it clear that “this would have been impossible without dedicated collaboration between the research center and the part suppliers.” This means the cost competitiveness would have been just a vague idea if the four departments of parts requisition, production, research and development, and parts supplier all had not joined together for a common goal from the start in order to bring all ideas on the table. You can find some important points from this case study of Toyota’s effort, which are cooperation, sharing, infrastructure, network, and synergy. These elements are referred to as the “cluster” collectively (a cluster is a statistical term for factors of importance).

It is a national trend to focus on the “cluster” in order to make a competitive company so as to create a synergy effect that comes from the sharing of information and knowledge to create a new knowledge. The United States and Britain made a “cluster map” so that people could see which cluster was appropriate for each region. Nowadays, the cluster map is recognized as a life rope to national enterprises.

A prayer is the same. It is hard to learn how to pray by yourself. You must have a cluster of prayer.

Through a prayer meeting, you make prayer partners and train together in praying. A prayer network must be established for the spiritual synergy effect to occur. When you have fellowship with friends in faith and encourage each other, you can grow to be a prayer warrior. When I was a sophomore and junior in a college, we had a prayer team to pray together for at least an hour every Wednesday evening right after the Wednesday worship service. After I was discharged from the military service, I used to attend meetings of praise, sermon, and prayer regularly every Saturday afternoon for several years. This experience of Cluster Prayer was a very beneficial prayer training that helped me grow spiritually strong.

The Holy Place of Prayer 1

Cluster Prayer in Unison and Revival of the Church

A prayer makes the hands of God move all over the world. The Cluster Prayer in unison has an element of desperation and moves God’s heart. This is a cry out from our inner soul and spirit. The Cluster Prayer in unison is a very beneficial prayer model in learning how to pray for the first time. Especially, we need to teach cluster praying in unison to new Christians who come to the church for the first time.

Since I grew up in the Yoido Full Gospel Church, I absorbed the spirituality that stressed the importance of a prayer. Most of the church members are used to praying in unison passionately. Of course, the prayer of the people next to me sometimes hindered my prayer. However, the cluster praying in unison became an excellent opportunity to tell God what I felt in my heart. Through this prayer, I could experience God’s grace often.

I became so used to this Cluster Prayer in unison that I thought this was a general type of prayer. However, when I visited other churches and attended a worship service during my study in England, I found that most of the churches were not giving the Cluster Prayer in unison. I used to live in Eynsham, the neighboring town next to Oxford, England. The churches in the town mostly prayed in silence at worship meeting or cell meeting, and they did not practice the Cluster Prayer in unison at all.

Today’s decline of the Western churches is believed to be the result of the fizzling out of fervent prayer. I could not find the passion for prayer in any of Western Church. I thought about why they were not practicing the Cluster Prayer in unison. Perhaps, they do not know this type of prayer, or they are traditionally used to a quiet and conscious prayer. Maybe, because they had no impending concern for food and general living matters they did not have a prayer topic that could start a fire in their prayer life.

Because of this atmosphere, most new Christians do not learn or experience various models of prayer in the Western churches. Thus, they do not get to experience the wondrous world of prayer. This is one factor that puts out the fire of prayer. A characteristic of dynamic church growth is fiery faith with a desperate passion for God. Because of such enthusiasm, they cannot sit still and pray quietly. However, many Christians in South Korea praise God loudly at the top of their lungs and plead with the Lord wholeheartedly. I mentioned the significance of Meditation Prayer in Chapter 14. The point that I am trying to make here is the attitude and mind for a Cluster Prayer in unison, which has to come out loudly and passionately. The church in which the saints cry out and pray to God passionately together will surely experience revival.

Cluster Prayer changes a person, gives the church revival, and reforms the nation. The Bible reveals that when the disciples gathered together at Mark’s home and joined in continuous prayer, a powerful work of the Holy Spirit was revealed. Cluster Prayer is a prayer that brings prayer revival. John Maxwell (Partners in Prayer, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1996, page 124) stated that God’s revival of the church has the following characteristics:

  1. The people pray.
  2. God comes.
  3. The people repent.
  4. God revives the people.
  5. The people begin to minister to and pour their lives into others.
  6. God equips and empowers them, making up the difference.

A revival of the church always starts from a prayer. This comes about from Christians who gather together and start to pray.

The Holy Place of Prayer 2

The Essence of a Cluster Prayer in Unison Is Desperation

Some people ask inquisitively, “Do we have to pray and cry out for God to hear us?” They think that we do not need to pray aloud since God is almighty and not deaf. However, this is a misconception. The crying-out prayer in unison is an expression of telling our heart to God in desperation. A prayer in unison that lacks sincerity and desperation also lacks power. However, a desperate prayer in unison has the power to touch God’s heart.

God looks at the center of our heart. He looks at our desperation. The prayer in unison, which cries out desperately, comes out more naturally when we are faced with misery, hardships, and suffering. When the Israelites were groaning painfully, they cried out and prayed to God. Then, they experienced God’s deliverance. This is the power of a Cluster Prayer in unison. “Then we cried out to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression” (Deuteronomy 26:7). When we cry out to God in the midst of trouble, God delivers us from such troubles: “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psalm 50:15).

When we cry out to God, God answers us. “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). “But I cry to you for help, O LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you” (Psalm 88:13). Suppose several people join in prayer and cry out to God eagerly. They will experience the helping hand of God. The Lord said He will answer everything that is asked in a Cluster Prayer and called in the name of the Lord. “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:19-20).

The Holy Place of Prayer 3

Trio Prayer Movement

God’s power is revealed in a well-organized Cluster Prayer. The Trio Prayer Movement of Bryan Mills is a good case in point. Mills started his Trio Prayer Movement in the middle 1980’s in Britain. Three people gathered together regularly to have a prayer meeting. The trio prayer organization sends three praying Christians to the general environment, where they will spend most of their time with non-believers— school, work place, or neighbors—so that they may encourage non-believers to pray. The trio prayer group prayed specifically for their spiritual growth and non-believers. This prayer movement was also utilized in Australia and Europe. During eighteen months, 30,000 trio prayer groups were established all over the world. With this prayer movement, the church revived, many people repented, and the miracle of divine healing was observed often.

We can find the cases of Trio Prayer in the Bible. When the Israelites were fighting against the Amalekites, Aaron and Hur held the hands of Moses and prayed (Exodus 17:12). When Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands and prayed, the Israelites were winning. When Moses lowered his hands, the Israelites were losing the war. Although Joshua was in charge of the war, this was not sufficient. Although Moses prayed, this was not adequate. Only when Aaron and Hur helped Moses to encourage each other and prayed together, victory was given to them. A spiritually unifying prayer must precede victory. Ecclesiastes 4:12 stresses the importance of the alliance of Christians: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

When two or more start to pray together, faith gets stronger, fellowship gets deeper, and our spirituality matures more. Additionally, we can edify each other in God. Since all of us are weak human beings, we need to be trained in a small group on how to pray.

Then, how is a trio prayer established? The method of a trio prayer, which Bryan Mills practiced, is as follows:

  1. Three people promise one another to have regular prayer meetings.
  2. Each one of the three people gives a list of three non-believers, whom he or she wants the group to pray for. Thus, the group has a duty to pray for nine non-believers.
  3. They pray for personal relationship and salvation of the nine non-believers and then pray for spiritual awareness to spread across the nation.
  4. Make a trio prayer group in a school, work place, neighborhood, or such.
  5. Everything that is shared in the prayer group must remain confidential.
  6. Make a trio prayer card and get a promise of prayer from each member of the group.

This case of trio prayer clearly shows the importance and power of a prayer partnership.

The Holy Place of Prayer 4

The Development of a Prayer Partnership in Church

An effective and organized prayer ministry does not exist in most churches. Because most people do not know the importance of prayer or do not enjoy praying, the prayer has taken a backseat. However, once a church starts the prayer partnership ministry, people will realize that prayer is important and see that God really answers prayers.

In order to vitalize Cluster Prayer in church, we need to develop prayer training ministry and recruit prayer partners. Only then, the atmosphere of God’s working is established. In order to assure the continuous development of a Cluster Prayer, there should be regular prayer guidance, the development of partnership among the prayer partners, and a motive to pray continually. I pray that you will be the main character of your Cluster Prayer to start it at your church, school, or work place.

Checkpoint of Prayer

We have to remember that a Cluster Prayer cannot replace personal prayer. It is excellent to meet with your prayer partners to pray together. A Cluster Prayer serves to enhance personal prayer life and spiritual maturity. Additionally, it is a good idea to designate a spiritually mature Christian as a leader for your Cluster Prayer to create the environment of the Cluster Prayer.

Sweet Rain of Grace

Cluster Prayer is very effective in learning how to pray. In addition, we can be directly trained in the various prayer models suggested in this book together as a group. Cluster Prayer is a very effective training model to grow as a prayer warrior. Because we can have an experience of having various prayers answered, we can expect a miracle and enjoy the life of experiencing miracles.

Praying Time

Cluster Prayer is the best when the prayer meeting is held regularly. The praying time can vary from thirty minutes to an hour. Set a time convenient for all Cluster Prayer group members to be trained in the prayer. A Cluster Prayer in unison is to be done at a worship service or a prayer meeting. Thus, it is not bound by time.

Closed Prayer Room

  • Cluster Prayer is a prayer model of forming a unified prayer team to offer prayer in unison.
  • An Example of a Cluster Prayer
    >> Lets pray together after gathering all our prayer partners. “Lord, let our prayer team be united in one and let us experience God’s miracle through our prayer in unison.
  • My Cluster Prayer:
  • The Order of a Cluster Prayer
    >> Praise (Hymn or Chorus)
    >> Confession of Thanksgiving
    >> Reading of a Cluster Prayer
    >> Carrying out the Cluster Prayer
  • Self-illumination
    >> Am I carrying out both Cluster Prayer and personal prayer?
    >> Is there a spiritually mature leader to lead a Cluster Prayer?
    >> Do I have prayer partners in this community in faith?
    >> Am I experiencing answers to my Cluster Prayer?

One Last Word on Cluster Prayer

A revival of the church always starts from prayer. It is brought about from Christians who gather together and start to pray.

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